As the lengths of spaceflights and the distances of their destinations increase, portable sequencing will aid in onboard research, environmental sampling, and infectious disease diagnosis. In collaboration with NASA, we ran the first demonstrations of nanopore sequencing during a parabolic flight and on the International Space Station. Nine onboard experiments generated over 200,000 reads with mean 2D read accuracies of 85 to 90% for a three-species library, sufficient to assemble lambda phage and E.coli genomes. Using current signals, we also developed methods to detect the most common bacterial base modification, m6A. Comparisons to simultaneous terrestrial experiments show that there are no impairments to instrument function or the quality of data in space and pave the way for further use.
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